On 18 March 2018, H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand co-chaired the 5th Thailand – India Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with H.E. Mrs. Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs of India, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both sides discussed and agreed upon ways to further strengthen Thailand – India cooperation at all levels and in all dimensions. Both sides concurred the necessity of convening the 8th Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Relations at the earliest opportunity to follow up on all pending issues and prepare for the Prime Minister of India’s visit to Thailand in 2019. Both sides attached importance to the promotion of economic cooperation alongside collaboration in areas of defence and security, as well as culture, education, people to people exchanges and development which will help strenghten Thailand – India relations. Both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of science and technology and consular matters as well as to expedite the finalisation of pending agreements at the earliest opportunity.
On the multilateral issues, both delegations attached great importance to cooperation under the ASEAN framework, particularly that Thailand is the ASEAN Chair and also Country Coordinator for ASEAN – India Dialogue Relations for the term 2018 – 2021. Both sides agreed to push forward the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation within this year. Both sides deemed it important to enhance cooperation under the sub-regional frameworks namely, the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). The Co-chairs also emphasised on synchronising cooperation under each framework to bring about sustainable peace and prosperity in the region. On this occasion, the two delegations also discussed about cooperation under the United Nations (UN) framework
and exchanged views on Indo-Pacific and other regional issues.
After the meeting, the Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs of India paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.